I’m truly grateful for all of the work the Board of Trustees did and continues to do to assure the ongoing growth of CSL. I particularly want to acknowledge our President, Kyme McDonald for opening up the discussion about our Vision, Mission and Values developed at the recent retreat. The presentation she made last Sunday must now become part of the daily conversation of you, the members of CSL Whiterock, in order for it to become more than just words on a screen or on a page.
With this in mind I will be offering you my thoughts on this very important aspect of our community life in the community blog. I invite you reflect on them. I encourage you to comment, question and challenge them. Look for evidence of them on Sunday when you come to Centre and most importantly live them in your own life.
The designation, A Learning Centre for Practical Spirituality, has been on all of our official documents, website and letterhead since it was designated as our “purpose” at the last congregational retreat in 2005. I think it is in this respect that our Centre is MOST closely aligned with the original intent of our founder, Dr. Ernest Holmes, The founder of the Institute of Religious Science and Philosophy who clearly resisted starting a new “religion.” The role of religion in the daily life of Canadians has changed dramatically since I was a child. Latest figures indicate that less than 17% of Canadians attend Church on a regular basis and that for the most part “denominational loyalty” (the adherence to the church of our parents Catholic, Anglican etc.) has completely disappeared. Unless there is some remarkable revival I see religion and “church going” as my parents practiced it and as I practiced it disappearing in the next 50 years. At the same time, ongoing education and life long learning everything from yoga to the pursuit of post secondary degrees have become commonplace, so common in fact that many Canadian universities offer a full “tuition waiver” to seniors who would like to attend. Online classes are popular and weekend workshops in everything and anything are always in demand.
The most important thing, we have to offer as a Centre is the opportunity to learn Spiritual Principles, how to apply them to our life and to get to know others who are struggling with the same issues, or asking the same questions we are. The CSL classroom, whether it is the Sunday Celebration and lecture or the weekend workshops and ongoing classes, is the laboratory for a life lived with ever more depth and meaning. CSL is part of our, yours AND my, ongoing education.
Next week I’ll address the Vision and the extraordinary circumstances of how it came to be.